Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Three questions for Brandilyn Collins

Today, tomorrow and Friday is the Christian Fiction Blog Tour for Brandilyn Collins' new book, Web of Lies. The book, the last in her Hidden Faces series, brings together two of her popular characters, forensic artist Annie Kingston and Chelsea Adams, who sees visions sent by God. Here's how Brandilyn describes the book on her Web site:
A nightmarish vision. A murder in broad daylight. How are they connected?

After witnessing a shooting at a convenience store, forensic artist Annie Kingston must draw a composite of the suspect. But before she can begin, she hears that Chelsea Adams wants to meet with her-now. Chelsea Adams-the woman who made national headlines with her visions of murder. And this vision is by far the most chilling.

Chelsea and Annie soon find themselves snared in a terrifying battle against time, greed, and a deadly opponent. If they tell the police, will their story be believed? With the web of lies thickening . . . and lives at stake, who will know enough to save them?
The two characters are off on another roller-coaster ride -- there's a reason why Brandilyn describes her stories as Seatbelt Suspense. Fans of suspense stories will want to check this one out.

Brandilyn is a prolific blogger, too, and has an ongoing discussion of Christian suspense and writing over at Forensics and Faith. In fact, between her Web site and her blog, it was hard to come up with questions for her, but I tried. I sent her three questions and she very graciously answered them (and even threw in a little story as a bonus):

1. What do you like best about being a writer?
Brandilyn (BC): Oh, I can think of myriad things.
I punch no one's time clock. (Even so, the deadlines can be killers.)
I can work in my jammies. (For hubby's sake, I do get dressed by the time he gets home.)
I have lots of writer friends. (And novelists tend to be a bit . . . eccentric.)
I have an excuse for talking to myself. (Conversing with characters, naturally.)
I get to tell boys who want to date my daughter that I "kill people for a living." (Said daughter just rolls her eyes, but it works on the boys.)
And, oh yeah--I get to create Story.

2. What mystery/suspense authors are your favorites? (Whether they've influenced you or not)
BC: Hands, down, Koontz. I admire his turn of phrase, his long career, his pushing at the boundaries of suspense (going everywhere from his frightening novels like Intensity to those with lots of humor, like Life Expectancy).

3. What's one question no one asks, but you wish they would? (and then answer it :) )
BC: Not sure there's anything left unasked, with all the interviews I've done. People who haven't read the "Never-Ending Saga" on my blog, Forensics and Faith, will ask about my journey toward publication in fiction. I send 'em to my blog with the post-script that this story is long. However, it is also encouraging to others who are trying to be published in fiction to see what it takes to break into the market. And I promise that the story is never boring. A suspense author is not allowed to tell a boring story. Even if it spans ten years, and chronicles one rejection after another. The individual posts of the story (which totalled in the sixties, as I remember), end with hooks. Well, they have to. I teach how to write hooks.
If you find this answer unsatisfying, you might ask me what's one of the dumbest things I've ever done. Which would remind me of the time when I was about eight and arguing with a friend who was twice my size. A very athletic, strong friend. I was determined to beat her up, but I had to lure her to my yard first. (On my own property, you see, I would acquire the SuperKid strength it would take to overcome this Amazon.)
Just so happened my dad had just bought me a huge (and I mean HUGE) all-day sucker. More like all-week. It was gorgeous, too, with one long swirl leading into the middle, and colors of red and blue and green. Aha! A world-class idea flashed into my brain. I unwrapped the sucker, stuck it in the ground beside a huge oak in our front hard, and hid behind the tree. Figuring my nemesis would see the sucker and run over to steal it (she was just that mean, dontcha know). At that point, I, with my superhuman strength, would POUNCE from my hiding place and knock her silly.
Sucker sat in ground. I waited. Impatiently.
Waited some more.
I got hungry. The sucker looked real good.
I resisted.
Soon it looked better.
No, I would not bow to tempting wiles. After all SuperKid did NOT need sugar to make it through an ominous mission.
I passed the time pumping myself up. Dreaming of victory. Man, I'd be the talk of the neighborhood. Nobody would mess with me--ever again. My chest puffed out, my chin lifted as high as it could. A sneer overtook my face. Yeah, yeah, just wait til ol' Meanface crept up to that tree. At first sight of her greedy fingers I was gonna--
"Hey, there, Little Miss Stupid!" A singsong, sarcastic voice pierced my grandiose thoughts. "I see you behind that tree! And I don't want your ugly sucker!"
Instant humiliation washed through every vein in my body. I tried to think of some flimsy reason why I should be behind that tree--a reason other than waiting for HER--but none came to mind. So I did the only thing I could. Shoulders stooped, chin down, I pulled up the candy-on-a-stick and shuffled into the safety of my house.
I tried to mitigate my shame by eating the sucker. (Just think what you're missing, Miss know-it-all Amazon!) Doggone thing didn't taste half as good as I'd expected.

Thanks, Brandilyn! And if you're curious what's next, she's got a book coming out later this year that's the first in the Kanner Lake series. It's called Violet Dawn and you'll be hearing more about it, I'm sure.


The Curmudgeon's Rant said...

Great interview.

I thought question three was brilliant. I took a deep breath before reading her answer. lol

Vicki Mccollum said...

Linda, Great Interview!

Pammer said...

Thanks for posting the interview. And thanks to Brandilyn too for the wonderful answers.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Linda, great questions...I'd never heard the all-day sucker story...LOL